Pieces of Myanmar military plane debris found in Andaman sea

Pieces of a Myanmar military plane which went missing with more than 100 soldiers and family members aboard have been  found in the Andaman Sea.

Navy ships and aircraft have been searching all afternoon after the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers. More than a dozen children were believed to be among the passengers on the plane.

Speaking to AFP, an Air Force official said  that a navy search and rescue ship had found pieces of the plane in the sea an hour’s flight south of Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital.

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There are still conflicting information about the number of people on board. However, giving an updated figure, the military office said 106 passengers were on board which were made up of soldiers and their family members along with 14 crew. More than a dozen of those on board were children.

The plane was a Y-8F-200 four-engine turboprop, a Chinese-made model still commonly used by Myanmar’s military for transporting cargo. The army said it was delivered in March last year and had logged 809 flying hours.

A former executive at the aviation ministry said many of the aircraft in Myanmar’s fleet were old and decrepit.

 “Myanmar air force has very bad safety performance,” he said, asking to remain nameless.

Myanmar’s military fleet has a chequered recent history of plane crashes.

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